A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece on how brands with ambassador programs could do better. Find that here.
To make things fair, and to give the brand side of the story, I’ve put together 5 tips for those who might aspire to become brand ambassadors in the future.
1) Actually use the product you want to represent
I know this should go without saying, but it is all too common for a brand to solicit ambassador applications and receive apps from people who only know the product by name or anecdotally. The prospect of anything for free can drive us to do things we really should’t consider. To pitch yourself as an ambassador for a brand that you have no real-world experience with is disingenuous and a waste of your time and their resources. Be honest with yourself and with the brand.
2) Share YOUR story
You are more attractive to a brand and you can enhance your chances of selection if you can set yourself apart from other applicants. Did you lose a lot of weight and transform your life? Do you inspire others through healthy living or overcoming obstacles? Do you have a story that this brand can share by way of showing that their product somehow assisted you in triumph over difficulties? Don’t try to remake yourself into what you THINK the brand wants in an ambassador. Think about who you are and what you have become. Then share it with the brand and give them a reason to select you.
Return On Investment. Brands aren’t going to send you product or select you as an ambassador just because you have a great story, or use their product religiously. How do those things enhance their possibility for a solid ROI? This is your job as an ambassador wannabe. You have to prove to the brand that you have connections. You have to show that you have influence in your network and world. One brand told me recently that they would choose a back of the pack runner with thousands of possible contacts and a wide sphere of influence rather than an elite athlete with a handful of twitter followers and a dead feed and no engagement with their network. How will YOU help the brand prosper? (If the brand hasn’t given you clear criteria for what they want in an ambassador, ASK THEM FOR IT! You will save time for yourself and for them. You can tell from the criteria whether you would be a good fit.) A great pitch has at its core an explanation of how YOU can be a VALUE to the brand.
4) Be patient
The deadline for apps comes and goes and you sit impatiently by your gmail inbox awaiting a prompt notice from the brand. Umm. No. Doesn’t work that way. A lot of brands have criteria for selection, but it takes time. Remember, like most of us, these folks have many other tasks in a work day other than making you their next superstar ambassador. This is especially true with smaller brands. If your application arrives during the peak of racing season, then don’t hold your breath for notification, and don’t get upset if it takes a while to hear something. It is not at all uncommon for an ambassador chosen for a calendar year get word of their appointment in March or April. Don’t grow impatient. Don’t start hating on your brand. They’re human. Give them time. Go for a run.
5) When chosen, don’t make them regret it
You and your brand. It MUST be mutually beneficial for it to work. Being selected is only half the battle. You now must go out and fulfill, no, exceed their expectations for ambassadors. They’ve selected you, taken a chance on you. Go prove them right for choosing you over hundreds or thousands of other applicants. Be creative. Find fresh ways you can pimp your brand that they haven’t thought of. Make their job easier and in turn you will be rewarded and maybe even asked back for another year.
Best of luck!